A Friend Indeed

Don't wait until your words ring hollow...

Friday, January 16, 2009 - by Richard Simms
<i>One of my first trophy cats shared with "A Friend Indeed."</i>
One of my first trophy cats shared with "A Friend Indeed."

A good friend of mine is suffering.

Cancer is the culprit and Hospice has been called.

I won't say who it is... our mutual friends will know. For those who don't, it doesn't matter.

What should matter is that you appreciate your own good friends who have shared special days and special memories.

I met this man through another mutual friend who knew that we both had an interest in catfishing. After some encouragement from our mutual friend, and the regular "dance" that people do before sharing their hunting & fishing secrets... he invited me to join him for a day on the water.

It was a revelation. Until that day I only thought I knew how to catfish. For me, at that time, a 5-pound catfish was a behemoth.

But this man showed me the ropes... the rigs, the baits and the places where truly big blues call home.

The first time my rod tip bowed to the water, and I could barely move the beast from the bottom, I knew I had entered a new and incredible outdoor world. Since that first 30-pound blue was captured many years ago, catfishing has been my passion.

My friend went on to teach me much more about fish, about fishing and about life. I relished our days on the water, although they were too few.

I'd give a great deal to have some of those days back now... and I wonder if we will ever sit together in a boat again.

I know that everyone reading these words has such friends. You think your days ahead will last forever.

They will not.

Enjoy them while you can... and tell your friends how much you care before the time when your words might ring hollow, or perhaps even go unheard.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same. - Anonymous


The Trail Of Tears And The Road To Civil War Hike Offered On Sept. 12

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend a special hike at Moccasin Bend National Archeological District on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m.    Participants should take the Manufacturer’s Road exit off Highway 27 and drive west, following the “Special Event” signs to the Brown’s Ferry Federal Road trailhead off Moccasin Bend Road. ... (click for more)

East Tennessee Dove Season Opens With A Bang

With shotguns in hand and hats shading heads, over 1,000 East Tennessee hunters harvested nearly 5,000 doves on fields leased or owned by TWRA during Tuesday’s opening of the mourning dove hunting season.  Dove hunting on opening day is a longstanding tradition in the state as hunters brave the dust and heat with hopes of filling their bags with a limit of 15 birds.  ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center May Get Bankruptcy Trustee Who Would Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

Hutcheson Medical Center may be headed for appointment of a bankruptcy trustee, who would focus on the sale of the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital. An attorney told a bankruptcy court judge in Rome, Ga., on Wednesday afternoon that a buyer is discussing paying over $20 million for all the assets of the community hospital. Attorney Rob Williamson ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Unsecured Creditors Committee Asks Trustee Be Appointed For Fort Oglethorpe Hospital; Asks Bankruptcy Not Be Dismissed

The Unsecured Creditors Committee of Hutcheson Medical Center is opposing a motion by U.S. Trustee Guy Gebhardt for a bankruptcy judge to dismiss the bankruptcy for the financially-ailing Fort Oglethorpe hospital.   Instead, the group is asking Judge Paul Bonapfel to appoint a trustee to oversee the Hutcheson finances. In a 16-page motion, the committee said if the bankruptcy ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Five Straight Days Of Football

If I covered my first high school football game as a fledging sports when I was 16 years old, and I am now 66, I figure that’s darn near about a half-century of passes and punts. The mystifying part is that I still get as big of a kick hovering around the game as I did on my very first time so as we usher in the start of the college season with five straight days of games, here ... (click for more)